LaSalle Five-Passenger Sedan

René Robert Cavelier was a restless spirit who sailed for Canada in 1666, arriving a full 17 years before Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac. Later given the title de La Salle, this name was appropriated for Cadillac’s companion brand, which was introduced for 1927 and remained in production until 1940. An all-new design, the LaSalle was created by Harley Earl, and today it remains the very first production automobile designed from the outset by a car stylist.

The LaSalle was tremendously popular at introduction, but by 1932, sales had plummeted to 3,386 from over 22,961 just three years earlier. In these dark days, the Cadillac division was losing money, so few funds were available for new car development. Although there were even rumors of discontinuing LaSalle, it still outsold Cadillac. In the end, a reprieve was granted, thanks to yet another styling triumph by Harley Earl, as well as a host of mechanical advancements introduced on the 1934 models, including a new chassis, a new eight-cylinder engine, hydraulic brakes, and a modern, independent front suspension.

Stylistically, the 1936 Series 50 LaSalle models, were virtually unchanged in overall design from 1934, and sported a new, upright “Convex-Vee” grille, as well as revised hood ports, and detail changes that resulted in quieter operation. In addition, the LaSalle was perhaps the most streamlined American production car of its time, and its strong public acceptance helped strengthen Cadillac as the economy continued to struggle under the lingering effects of the Great Depression.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2009 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.

105bhp, 248 cu. in. inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with A-arms and coil springs, semi-floating rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, rear stabilizer bar, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 120"

Sources: RM Auctions; Wikipedia, 2011

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